Too often in today’s struggle for equality we overlook our rich history. In truth our legacy contains vital assets. These are educational, psychological and spiritual tools of empowerment that if allowed to lay idle, dis-honor the work of our ancestors and only contribute to our “going in a circle”.
From 1967 to 1975, fueled by curiosity and naïveté, Swedish journalists traversed the Atlantic Ocean to film the Black power movement in America. The Black Power Mixtape 1967–1975 mobilizes a treasure trove of 16mm material, which languished in a basement for 30 years, into an irresistible mosaic of images, music, and narration to chronicle the movement’s evolution. Mesmerizing footage of Stokely Carmichael, Bobby Seale, Huey P. Newton, Angela Davis, and Eldridge Cleaver, as well as Black Panther activities, are peppered with B-roll footage of Black America. These scenes take on a fresh, global angle through the outsider perspective of the Swedish lens.
Meanwhile, penetrating commentaries from artists and activists influenced by the struggle—like Harry Belafonte, Sonia Sanchez, Talib Kweli, Erykah Badu, and Professor Robin D. G. Kelley—riff on the range of radical ideas and strategies for liberation. Their insights and the vibrancy of the unearthed footage render the Black power movement startlingly immediate and profoundly relevant.